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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rockymountainoyster, Dec 19, 2012.
Thanks to all of those who have followed and/or guided me on this journey. It has been a powerful experience that I will spend some time digesting and reflecting upon. It is not that easy to keep a contemporaneous narrative going while traveling, especially on a motorbike. I salute those of you who can do it. I am not home yet and will continue posting here until I get there. There are gaps to fill and photos to share...stay tuned.
Hey, thanks for the great RR! Really good info for future trips south.
Well done and congrats!!
Thanks R-W glad you came along for the ride. Where in New Mexico are you. I lived up in the Four Corners, South of Bloomfield for four years (87-91) and am now in Telluride, CO. Send me a PM with your info. Maybe we can catch a ride sometime.
rmo, great stuff! I just spent a couple hours going over your thread. You are truly living the dream. That Sara lady sure tugged my heart strings, hope she and her mamacita are doing ok.
Way to go RM. I know how hard it is to do a real time RR. It kind of detracts from the experience in my opinion, so thanks for keeping it going. See ya next time.
South of Gallup up in the Zuni mountains. Telluride?? Oh the skiers and boarders are smiling at the snow gods today I bet?
Will send you a PM...
106 miles. 100 on I-5, 6 on the streets of LA. Both crazy in their own way. I had a great visit with old friends in Carlsbad. We went to the San Diego vs. Giants game the San Diego won in the bottom of the 12th... it was great baseball, an exciting game with turns of fortune for both teams. We had a private box right behind home plate and up high enough that you could see the whole field really well. Food and drink provided...including peanuts and cracker jacks! Thank you Charles Schwab! I left Carlsbad after rush hour because, having lived in SoCal for more than 30 years, I know that the I-5 between LA and San Diego can be a parking lot. I am not used to riding on freeways... the closest one to where I Iive is probably the I-70 up at Grand Junction, CO... 130 miles or so. The grooves that CalTrans puts in the concrete surface of the freeways can be a little unnerving at times! Changing lanes can also be a bit surprising as you cross the seam... nothing hazardous but just surprising when it is a new experience at 70mph with lots of other vehicles really close. I have way too vivid an imagination. I made it up to LA in less than 2 hours including a pit stop. If you are in the LA area and like Vietnamese pho as well as I do there are lots of options. One good one that is close to the I-5 at the Glendale Bl offramp is Indochine, they will fix you right up with a great bowl of pho or other Vietnamese taste treats. Not much to say about the streets of LA, more traffic, lots of traffic signals, amazing cars, more amazing women, and things move pretty well during the off peak hours. If you know where you are going it is all very easy. I don't like riding in traffic on the bike at all and try to use public transportation or a car when I have stuff to do in LA. This trip I did a combination of both. The subway system in LA is pretty damn good. As a "senior citizen" it costs me .55 cents to ride or I can get an unlimited day pass for about 5 bucks... much better than dealing with gear, traffic, parking...etc. There are Zip cars available and lots of other cheap rental options.
279 miles. I took it kind of easy, 70-80 when I was rolling... lots of people, including some of the big trucks that are supposed to be limited to 55, roll at this speed. Didn't see any CHP. I made a couple of long rest stops, sitting in the shade, catching up on some phone calls. Between Barstow and Needles there are only a couple of places to get fuel one is at Ludlow, where there are two stations, the Union 76 has a Dairy Queen, nice break from the desert, and one is near Goffs. I never noticed the one near Goffs before and I have driven this road many times... it might be recent because of the great tourist interest in Old Route 66 that has emerged. It is 144 miles from Barstow to Needles, gas is about .30 cents a gallon higher in Needles than it is in Ludlow or Kingman, AZ. Gas has always been a rip off in Needles, even back in the 60's when I first came through here. Years ago I had a radiator hose on my car blow when I was traveling to Grand Canyon with the wife and kids, they really stick it to you then. We did have an exciting moment when we were given a lift by a County Sheriff and he got a call that caused him to flip on the lights and get us back to town at over 100 mph... the kids thought that was cool. I stayed at a nice, clean, cheap Indian owned motel that I have stayed at several times now. The Desert Mirage Inn and Suites. Under 40 bucks including tax. A BBQ restaurant has opened up just across the parking lot at the Best Motel. I had a roast chicken there and it was delicious and really huge. There is a Pizza joint across the street. The Best Motel offers a $25 room Mon-Thurs... I don't recommend it. To get to these places if you are East bound get off at the Broadway West exit, turn left at the bottom of the ramp and follow the curve around towards town. There are a couple of big chain motels right when you get off the freeway but if you just want a comfortable bed and a good shower the Desert Mirage Inn is the place. The chains aren't worth the money. Needles is a pretty funky town with its share of burn outs, desert rats, and river rats who flock here to recreate on the Colorado River. If you want to go upscale there is Pirate's Cove just to the East of town off of the I-40, kind of on the river.
The last 25-40 miles of I-40 Eastbound rolling into Needles really sucks. The pavement is a mess, pot holes, missing chunks of blacktop, it is as bad or worse than any secondary road I traveled in Mexico and far worse than even the 2 lane cuotas and far more traffice, esp. big trucks.
I did not have to ride any freeways to get to Mexico, the first Autopista was in great shape. I have to ride freeways to get from LA to Colorado. The morning before I left the traffic reporter said that a portion of the I-10 on the East side of LA had been closed to allow a life flight helicopter to land to pick up a downed motorcyclist.... I hope he made it.
On I go...the roads at home just have cows, deer and elk... and the occasional icy patch. It was 23 there this morning and I got a call that my furnace had quit working. Time to get home and take care of business.
186 miles. Not a lot of ground covered today. Got into Williams for a late lunch and decided to call it a day at another nice and inexpensive Indian owned hotel. Called my doctor and found out that I have a torn ACL. Monday I start figuring out what to do about it. I-40 to the Arizona border at the Colorado River is in terrible shape. California and the Feds do not have their shit together. Once you hit AZ the road is great until it is no so great anymore. The deteriorating infrastructure in this country is becoming a real problem and it is going to seriously bite us in the ass.
Just got caught up on your report, thanks for sharing. Mexico can be amazing but I have never travelled there by bike, hope to sometime soon.
Grew up in Pasadena and the OC, went to Rosarito and Ensenada areas several times for the surfing, nightlife and fun - it's true what you say danger can be anywhere but we are often the cause of the spectacle.
Also, I like what you said about our infrastructure here in the US - it's sad but true. A friend visits China now and then and Shanghai is ultra-modern with sleek roads, hotels and hi-rises - they are quickly becoming the USA of the 1950's while we move toward what they were decades past.
Thanks KLR Monkey...a friend of mine taught English in Shanghai and said it was the most exciting city in the world. I was born in Chamblee, a suburb of Atlanta, and lived in LA from my mid-twenties to late fifties. The first time I drove across the country in the summer of '64 the I-40 was still under construction...much of the route was still Route 66...was in Williams, AZ last night where Route 66 nostalgia has become big business.
Banged out 325 miles to get to Mancos, CO and Basin Motorcycle Works. Home tomorrow in the car while the bike gets some TLC from my friend and landlord for the evening, Harry Hill.
Rainy, snowy, unstable weather... springtime in the Rockies! Great to be home. Now formulating a treatment plan that will probably include surgery for my torn ACL. Not having a lot of fun hobbling around the hills and stairs right not but will get it taken care of so I can be riding again before the end of the summer. In the meantime lots of great summer activities here in this version of paradise on earth. I do miss the warmth of Mexico and the sea but there is not much that beats this place. Pix later.
Heal the knee and get back to riding. Seriously thinking bout a ride north to Colorado in late summer. Nothing definite but Lizard Head and Unaweep Canyon are 2 favorite rides. If it looks like it will happen, I'll try to look you up.
Great ride report and fotos, thanks for the ride.
Sorry I missed you as you made your way through CA. But you'll get no sympathy from me about having to return to Telluride...one of the most magnificent places on the planet! Hope to see you there as I pass through sometime soon!
C'mon down Jim! It was really hard for me to let go of the idea of riding up the coast but this knee thing has to be dealt with...sprained MCL, partially torn meniscus, fully torn ACL...I rode on it for nearly 8 weeks it was time to get home and start dealing with it constructively...apparently it is going to take awhile.
Great report and pics. Thanks for taking us along.